Argentina joins New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada and the US/California in forming a New World Wine Alliance to boost performance in the Chinese market

Industry body Wines of Argentina has signed an agreement with Shanghai’s Grapea & Co to be part of the alliance aimed at furthering the perception of New World wine in China.

The project, which began in June and will run until October this year, will take the form of a marketing and educational campaign supported by Grapea & Co’s Yang Lu, China’s first Master Sommelier.

The campaign will focus on both online content, transmitted through social media and blogging platforms, as well as wine and sommelier competitions.

The free content will be available on the New World Wine WeChat account and will consist of 18 virtual masterclasses on New World wine regions and 42 videos on topics such as the wine history, viticulture, winemaking, news, cultural traditions and food and wine matching.

These will also be made available on other platforms including Tik Tok, Dianping, and T-Mall.

In addition, the initiative will also feature 22 live broadcasts from key industry figures and popular wine bloggers.

According to the latest data, the scheme has already proved successful. In the first 15 days after the launch in June, the content platforms recorded a total of 68,000 visits and more than 8,000 views of video content.

Commenting on Argentina’s involvement in the project, Maximiliano Hernández Toso, who took over as president of Wines of Argentina earlier this year, said: “Being part of a project of this magnitude reflects the recognition that Argentine wine has gained internationally and the development of its industry.

“I believe that this is a great opportunity for our flagship product to expose its full potential, supporting and accompanying the drive of the collective strength of regions and countries that scale the world stage. We are confident of the impact of continued education and in working with international opinion leaders, such as, in this case, Yang Lu, the only Chinese Master Sommelier in the world.”

It follows news that Argentina was the only country to record an increase in both import volume and value of wine sent to China between January and May this year.

California bars and restaurants can now offer outdoor seating

California’s bars and restaurants can reopen for table service as long as they can provide outdoor seating, according to new measures announced this week.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in California has proposed regulations for bars and restaurants that will allow them to seat diners on the property that is “adjacent to the licensed premises”, such as pavements or car parks.

The ABC has previously ruled that on-trade outlets can offer take-out and home delivery to patrons so they could stay in business while the state’s lockdown measures are in place.

Pre-made cocktails and other alcoholic drinks are only to be sold as a take-out option if they are served with a meal.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a directive to close all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs in the state on March 15 and called for all seniors age 65 years or older to stay in self-isolation, in an effort to stop Covid-19 from spreading and putting a strain on local hospitals.

The temporary authorization only allows bars and restaurants to sell alcohol “during times in which bona fide meals are being served,” and allows them to use outdoor spaces that comply with public safety and welfare requirements.

Meanwhile, venues should still “encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible,” according to California’s latest guidance for bars and restaurants issued last week.

The ABC updated its guidelines on May 19, and also ruled that licensees that do not have their kitchen facilities and do not prepare bona fide meals on the licensed premises to partner with businesses that do offer meals ( a “meal provider”) to “sell bona fide meals in conjunction with to-go containers of alcoholic beverages.”

The regulations have been amended to provide relief to the alcohol industry while it is unable to operate in full during lockdown.

Some US states are already coming out of their own lockdowns, with restaurants now able to take bookings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for bars preparing to reopen earlier this month as coronavirus lockdown restrictions eased.

The Top Ten Winegrowers in Sonoma, California by Acreage

A Wine Business Monthly survey indicates Jackson Family Wines grows the most grapes in Sonoma County, followed by E&J Gallo. Other top growers include the pension fund owned by TIAA-CREF, Treasury Wine Estates and Rodney Strong Vineyards.

The survey was completed by phone, email, and analysis of Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner records and other public databases. Growers in the survey noted that planted vineyard acreage is bound to change as they pull vines or replant.

Tony Correia, president of The Correia Co., also expects to see new vineyard transactions. Some may be driven by the lack of family succession planning or “just plain owner fatigue” due to challenges property owners face, including; weather, regulations and a slowing wine market. Correia also predicts that larger wineries may decide to liquidate vineyards to improve financial performance.

Vineyard pricing in Sonoma, like in Napa, is either flat or up while prices in California’s other wine regions are down, according to Ciatti’s presentation during Wine Business Monthly’s Vineyard Economics Symposium (VES) in May.

Correia, who also spoke at VES, stated the average cost for prime vineyards in Russian River Valley or the Sonoma Coast runs between $175,000 and $180,000 per acre.

For a full list of the Top 100 Growers in Sonoma County, check out the July 2019 issue of Wine Business Monthly.

1. Jackson Family Wines, 3,700 acres
The Jackson family owns 3,700 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

2. E&J Gallo, 3,665 acres
The biggest winery in the world owns 3,665 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the company.

3. TIAA/Silverado Investment Management Group, 2,000 acres
TIAA/SIMCO has about 2,000 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

4. Treasury Wine Estates, 1,375 acres
Treasury Wine Estates owns about 1,375 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

5. Rodney Strong Vineyards, 1,369 acres
Rodney Strong owns about 1,369 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company.

6. Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, 1,285 acres
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery owns 1,285 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s database.

7. Constellation Brands, 1,150 acres*
Constellation Brands owns about 1,150 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s database and other public records.

8. Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, 1,128 acres
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards owns about 1,128 planted vineyard acres in Sonoma County, according to the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s public database.

9. Foley Family Wines, 1,100 acres
The Foley family owns about 1,100 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company. The vineyards include Roth, Foley Sonoma, Chalk Hill, Sebastiani, and Lancaster Estate.

10. Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, 1,100 acres
Sangiacomo Family Vineyards owns about 1,100 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, according to the company. The family also leases another 500 acres in the county.

Source: Wine Business

Interview with: Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Director of Winemaking at La Crema Winery – Sonoma, California [Women in Wine Business]

elizabeth-grant-douglasThis week, I spotlight Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Director of Winemaking at La Crema Winery – Sonoma, California.

About La Crema Winery

La Crema was founded in 1979 as La Crema Viñera or “Best of the Vine.”

It’s a Jackson Family winery and is located outside of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. For over 35 years, the family-owned winery focused exclusively on cool-climate coastal appellations. La Crema is currently leading the way on sustainable agriculture, with early certification as a sustainable winegrower, and being named and recognized as “The Green Company of the Year” by the beverage industry.

About Elizabeth Grant-Douglas

Elizabeth’s interest in winemaking grew out of an early passion when she gained her initial experience alongside her parents, who were hobby winemakers, in the basement of their Niagara Falls home.

Now Director of Winemaking at La Crema, Elizabeth’s unique training in cool-climate oenology has given her the patience and practice required to produce award-winning Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir varietals.

Initially studying Economics at the University of Waterloo, Elizabeth shifted her career studies to Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture program.

“Brock had just announced  the program I was finishing my Economics degree”

“I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do—I still can’t!”

Liz Palmer: 
You joined La Crema as an enologist in 2001, became Winemaker in 2010, and promoted to Director of Winemaking in 2013 – what have the highlights been during your tenure?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
Watching the evolution of the brand from 2010 to now, and adding new vineyards in Oregon. The wines have also become more interesting and more complex – very exciting! I’ve been with La Crema for fifteen years and it never gets dull.

Liz Palmer:  
How closely do you work with the vineyard manager and team?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
I manage five teams with a total of eight.  I work with the teams from pruning to harvest by checking the quality of the grapes and tasting the blends – they all provide me with their feedback.

Liz Palmer:
La Crema Winery has integrated some environmentally-sustainable practices. Can you tell me about this?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
We are very dedicated to sustainability. This is a family business and we look what is best for next generation, in the long term.  We try to be as sustainable as possible in every phase of production—not only in the vineyard, but in the winery. We have analyzed all our procedures, and we’re working to be 100 percent sustainable.

Liz Palmer: 
Are you finding any challenges related to climate change and global warming?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
We are looking at this.  There is no consistency – early rain – rain during bloom – there is no pattern.

Liz Palmer: 
What are your winemaking goals in the next year or two?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
This year we are looking to reveal our first “sparkling wine” from Oregon – I’m really excited about this! It will be brut and I’m really looking forward to it.

Liz Palmer:
I’d like to ask you about the evolving role of women in the wine world. Historically, women have encountered resistance and prejudice when they enter the wine industry?

I’ve had no issues – my generation have been very fortunate as the trail blazers have paved the way.

I work with a lot of other female winemakers – we work well together.

Liz Palmer:
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
Barbara Banke, the Chairman & Proprietor of Jackson Family Wines – she supports sustainability and has created a company for families.

Liz Palmer:
How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
During the harvest – I make sure I have family dinners with my son and and husband. I take my son with me on weekends into the vineyards – he actually likes grapes!

Liz Palmer:
What is your advice for other young women entrepreneurs?

Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:
Travel as much as possible earlier on in your career.  Be fearless – look to find something that excites you!

www.LaCrema.com

 

Wine Review: 2014 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Chardonnay, and 2013 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Pinot Noir

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La Crema Winery

La Crema Winery is a family-owned estate in the Russian River Valley that specializes in Burgundian-style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from cool climate vineyards found in in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Established in 1979, La Crema quickly gained reputation for quality and consistently fine wines.

The estate is owned and operated by sister duo Laura Jackson-Giron and Jennifer Jackson. Their wines are handcraft, one barrel at a time. This is often reflected in the taste – where you will find balance, finesse and great fruit intensity which comes through in every glass.

A few winemakers developed the “La Crema Winery Style” through the years, including Dan Goldfield, Jeff Stewart, Melissa Stackhouse, and most recently (2010), Canadian Elizabeth Grant-Douglas.

Continue reading “Wine Review: 2014 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Chardonnay, and 2013 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Pinot Noir”